Rafael Nadal takes on Juan Martin Del Potro later today in the final of the 2013 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells (21:00 GMT start).
Nadal booked his place in the final of Indian Wells 2013 on Saturday with a 6-4 7-5 victory over Tomas Berdych. The Spaniard had trailed at 5-3 in the second set, but there were few moments when his place in the final ever seemed to be under much of a genuine threat.
"Today I was very nervous at the end of the match and was lucky that my serve worked amazing in the last game in the important moments," he said after reaching the final.
"There are some things that you need to adjust, and victories like today helps a lot for confidence."
Many had anticipated a Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic final, but the Serb’s winning streak was put to bed by a resilient Del Potro. After losing the first set of his semi-final, the Argentine had appeared to be following Berdych out of the competition. He had other ideas though, and just like he did against Andy Murray in the quarter-finals, he came from behind to claim a three set win.
Del Potro appeared to be in trouble on several occasions but phenomenally he kept coming up with answers to the almost unbeatable world No. 1. He called for his water bottle at one point, and once or twice was panting heavily after long rallies (one of which made him run for over 70metres). He hung on, and finished the contest with an absolute monster of a serve that Nole couldn’t get a racquet to.
Nadal has a 7-3 record against Del Potro and many consider him the favourite. Still, this version of Delpo looks a lot more like the Argentine of 2009 who took Rafa to the cleaners in the US Open. An incredible final lies in store in California.
Prediction: Nadal in three.